Citizenship is the state of being a citizen of a particular social, political, or national community.
Citizenship status, under social contract theory, carries with it both rights and responsibilities. "Active citizenship" is the philosophy that citizens should work towards the betterment of their community through economic participation, public , volunteer work, and other such efforts to improve life for all citizens. In this vein, schools in some countries provide citizenship education. Citizenship was equated by Virginia Leary (1999) as connoting "a bundle of rights -- primarily, political participation in the life of the community, the right to vote, and the right to receive certain protection from the community, as well as obligations."
The group of all citizens is the Citizenry.
Generally citizenship is seen as the relationship between an individual and a particular nation. In ancient Greece, the main political entity was the city-state, and citizens were members of particular city-states. In the past five hundred years, with the rise of the nation-state, citizenship is most closely identified with being a member of a particular nation. To some extent, certain entities cross national boundaries such as trade organizations, non-governmental organizations as well as multi-national corporations, and sometimes the term "citizen of the world" applies in the sense of people having less ties to a particular nation and more of a sense of belonging to the world in general.
In modern times, citizenship policy is divided between jus sanguinis ("right of blood") and jus soli ("right of soil") nations. A jus sanguinis policy grants citizenship based on ancestry or ethnicity, and is related to the concept of a nation state common in Europe. A jus soli policy grants citizenship to anyone born on the territory of the state, a policy practiced by many countries in the Americas, including the United States. Many countries have a hybrid birthright requirement of local nativity and citizenship of at least one parent.
Citizenship can also commonly be obtained through marriage to a person holding the citizenship (jure matrimonii), or through naturalization .
Further information: Nationality law
In recent years, some intergovernmental organizations have extended the concept and terminology associated with citizenship to the international level, where it is applied to the totality of the citizens of their constituent countries combined. Citizenship at this level is a secondary concept, with rights deriving from national citizenship.
The concept of "Commonwealth Citizenship" has been in place ever since the establishment of the Commonwealth of Nations. As with the EU, one holds Commonwealth citizenship only by being a citizen of a Commonwealth member state. This form of citizenship offers certain privileges within some Commonwealth countries:
Some such countries do not require tourist visas of citizens of other Commonwealth countries.
In some Commonwealth countries resident citizens of other Commonwealth countries are entitled to political rights, e.g., the right to vote in local and national elections and in some cases even the right to stand for election.
In some instances the right to work in any position (including the civil service) is granted, except for certain specific positions (e.g. defense, Governor-General or President, Prime Minister).
Although Ireland left the Commonwealth in 1949, it is often treated as if it were a member, with references being made in legal documents to 'the Commonwealth and the Republic of Ireland', and its citizens are not classified as foreign nationals, particularly in the United Kingdom.
Canada departed from the principle of nationality being defined in terms of allegiance in 1921. In 1935 the Irish Free State was the first to introduce its own citizenship (However, Irish citizens were still treated as subjects of the Crown, and they are still not regarded as foreign, even though Ireland is not a member of the Commonwealth; Murray v Parkes  All ER 123). The Canadian Citizenship Act which came into effect on January 1, 1947 provided for a distinct Canadian Citizenship, automatically conferred upon most individuals born in Canada (with certain exceptions) and defined the conditions under which one could become a naturalized citizen. The concept of Commonwealth citizenship was introduced in 1948 in the British Nationality Act 1948. Other Dominions adopted this principle, in New Zealand, in the British Nationality and New Zealand Citizenship Act 1948. Citizenship has replaced allegiance, a more than symbolic change.
Citizenship most usually relates to membership of the nation state, but the term can also apply at subnational level. Subnational entities may impose requirements, of residency or otherwise, which permit citizens to participate in the political life of that entity, or to enjoy benefits provided by the government of that entity. But in such cases, those eligible are also sometimes seen as "citizens" of the relevant state, province, or region. An example of this is how the fundamental basis of Swiss citizenship is citizenship of an individual commune, from which follows citizenship of a canton and of the Confederation. Another example is Åland where the residents enjoy a special provincial citizenship within Finland, hembygdsrätt.
The United States has a system of dual citizenship where one is a citizen of the state of residence as well as a citizen of the United States. State constitutions may grant certain rights above and beyond what are granted under the US Constitution and may impose their own obligations including the sovereign right of taxation and military service (each state maintains at least one military force subject to national militia transfer service, the state's national guard, while some maintain a second military force not subject to nationalization).
European Union (EU) citizenship
Main article: Citizenship of the European Union
The Maastricht Treaty introduced the concept of citizenship of the European Union. Article 17 (1) of the amended EC Treaty states that
Citizenship of the Union is hereby established. Every person holding the nationality of a Member State shall be a citizen of the Union. Citizenship of the Union shall complement and not replace national citizenship.
The amended EC Treaty establishes certain minimal rights for EU citizens. Article 12 of the amended EC Treaty guarantees a general right of non-discrimination within the scope of the Treaty. Article 18 provides a limited right to free movement and residence in Member States other than that of which the EU citizen is a national. Articles 18-21 and 225 provide certain political rights.
Union citizens have also extensive rights to move in order to exercise economic activity in any of the Member States (Articles 39, 43, 49 EC), which predate the introduction of Union citizenship.
The concept of citizenship arose with the first laws.
Main article: Polis
The first form of citizenship was based on the way people lived in the ancient Greek times, in small-scale organic communities of the polis. In those days citizenship was not seen as a public matter, separated from the private life of the individual person. The obligations of citizenship were deeply connected into one’s everyday life in the polis. To be truly human, one had to be an active citizen to the community, which Aristotle famously expressed: “To take no part in the running of the community's affairs is to be either a beast or a god!” This form of citizenship was based on obligations of citizens towards the community, rather than rights given to the citizens of the community. This was not a problem because they all had a strong affinity with the polis; their own destiny and the destiny of the community were strongly linked. Also, citizens of the polis saw obligations to the community as an opportunity to be virtuous, it was a source of honour and respect. In Athens, citizens were both ruler and ruled, important political and judicial offices were rotated and all citizens had the right to speak and vote in the political assembly.
However, an important aspect of polis citizenship was exclusivity. Citizenship in ancient Greece and Rome, as well as Medieval cities that practiced polis citizenship, was exclusive and inequality of status was widely accepted. Citizens had a much higher status than non-citizens: Women, slaves or ‘barbarians’. For example, women were seen to be irrational and incapable of political participation (although some, most notably Plato, disagreed). Methods used to determine whether someone could be a citizen or not could be based on wealth (the amount of taxes one paid), political participation, or heritage (both parents had to be born in the polis).
In the Roman Empire, polis citizenship changed form: Citizenship was expanded from small scale communities to the entire empire. Romans realised that granting citizenship to people from all over the empire legitimized Roman rule over conquered areas. Citizenship in the Roman era was no longer a status of political agency; it had been reduced to a judicial safeguard and the expression of rule and law. (See Civis romanus sum.)
Medieval and early modern citizenship
During European Middle Ages, citizenship was usually associated with cities, see burgher, Great burgher and Bourgeoisie. Nobility used to have privileges above commoners (see aristocracy), but the French Revolution and other revolutions revoked these privileges and made citizens.
Some countries extend "honorary citizenship" to those whom they consider to be especially admirable or worthy of the distinction.
By act of United States Congress and presidential assent, honorary United States citizenship has been awarded to only seven individuals. Honorary Canadian citizenship requires the unanimous approval of Parliament. The only people to ever receive honorary Canadian citizenship are Raoul Wallenberg posthumously in 1985, Nelson Mandela in 2001, the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso in 2006, Aung San Suu Kyi in 2007 and Prince Karim Aga Khan in 2009.
In 2002 South Korea awarded honorary citizenship to Dutch football (soccer) coach Guus Hiddink who successfully and unexpectedly took the national team to the semi-finals of the 2002 FIFA World Cup. Honorary citizenship was also awarded to Hines Ward, a black Korean American football player, in 2006 for his efforts to minimize discrimination in Korea against half-Koreans.
American actress Angelina Jolie received an honorary Cambodian citizenship in 2005 due to her humanitarian efforts. Cricketers Matthew Hayden and Herschelle Gibbs were awarded honorary citizenship of St. Kitts and Nevis in March 2007 due to their record-breaking innings in the 2007 Cricket World Cup.
In Germany the honorary citizenship is awarded by cities, towns and sometimes federal states. The honorary citizenship ends with the death of the honoured, or, in exceptional cases, when it is taken away by the council or parliament of the city, town, or state. In the case of war criminals, all such honours were taken away by "Article VIII, section II, letter i of the directive 38 of the Allied Control Council for Germany" on October 12, 1946. In some cases, honorary citizenship was taken away from members of the former GDR regime, e.g. Erich Honecker, after the collapse of the GDR in 1989/90.
In Ireland, "honorary citizenship" bestowed on a foreigner is in fact full legal citizenship including the right to reside in Ireland, to vote etc.
According to the Chapter II, Article 29, Paragraph 'e)' of the Cuban Constitution, Cuban citizens by birth are those foreigners who, by virtue of their exceptional merits won in the struggles for Cuba’s liberation, were considered Cuban citizens by birth. Che Guevara was made an honorary citizen of Cuba by Fidel Castro for his part in the Cuban Revolution, of which Guevara later renounced in his well known farewell letter.
Historically, many states limited citizenship to only a proportion of their population, thereby creating a citizen class with political rights superior to other sections of the population, but equal with each other. The classical example of a limited citizenry was Athens where slaves, women, and resident foreigners (called metics) were excluded from political rights. The Roman Republic forms another example (see Roman citizenship), and, more recently, the nobility of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth had some of the same characteristics.
Honorary citizenship around the world
Berlin · Canada · Revolutionary France · Gyumri · Hamburg · Paris · Schleswig-Holstein · Singapore · United States · Zagreb
The examples and perspective in this article may not represent a worldwide view of the subject. Please improve this article and discuss the issue on the talk page. (September 2010)
Citizenship is a compulsory subject of the National Curriculum in state schools in England for all pupils aged 11-16. Some schools offer a qualification in this subject at GCSE and A level. All state schools have a statutory requirement to teach the subject, assess pupil attainment and report student's progress in Citizenship to parents.
Citizenship is offered as a General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) course in many schools. As well as teaching knowledge about democracy, parliament, government, the justice system, human rights and the UKs relations with the wider world, students participate in active citizenship, often involving a social action or social enterprise in their local community.
In Wales the model used is Personal and Social Education.
Citizenship is not taught as a subject in Scottish schools, however they do teach a subject called "Modern Studies" which covers the social, political and economic study of local, national and international issues.
It is taught in the Republic of Ireland as an exam subject for the Junior Certificate. It is known as Civic, Social and Political Education (CSPE).
Citizenship is taught as a unit as part of the curriculum in Grade 8 Social Studies in Nova Scotia.
Responsibilities or duties of citizenship
The legally enforceable duties of citizenship vary depending on one's country, and may include such items as:
serving on a jury
obeying the criminal laws enacted by one's government, even while abroad